Reasons to downsize. How much space do I need?

Small House -Sweden

Tiny summer home in Sweden

I’ve always wanted to share my experiences related to downsizing from a larger home to something smaller. While everyone’s situation will differ, there are some aspects of such a change that will repeat. By sharing my experiences and ideas, I hope to help you through the process and avoid some of the pitfalls I encountered. Let’s start with some initial thoughts that you may have already be considering.

Reasons to downsize.

A. Family size has fallen and house has too many unused rooms.

B. Concerns about its future affordability

1. Maintenance items have been deferred (e.g., roof, windows, etc.).

2. Rising utility costs (e.g., LV water, gas & electricity all rising substantially)

3. Cleaning services aren’t cheap and may continue to rise due to higher gasoline prices & possible lower levels of immigration.

4. Lawn services aren’t cheap and may continue to rise due to higher gasoline prices & possible lower levels of immigration.

C. Current or expected future decline in interest or ability to maintain the property (e.g., lawn care, snow shoveling, exterior painting, typical home repair items, etc.)

D. Desire to reduce the likelihood that grown children will seek to move back in.

 

 How much space do I need?

This is largely determined by the number of persons who will live in the home and how much stuff you wish to bring along from the current home. When thinking about this question from a resale standpoint, two bedrooms is a minimum and three bedrooms is preferred. Assuming only one person or a couple will occupy the home; a second bedroom is needed to accommodate occasional guests and/or an office.  A third bedroom is preferred, since most of us want a guest bedroom and a separate office.

Do I need a basement? Well, this decision largely rests upon how much of your belongings you’ll need to store long term and whether you will have a garage with storage space. Alternatively, you might consider renting a storage unit for the items you initially just can’t part with, but might after a year or two. The cost of a rental unit will be much less than the added cost of a basement, especially if the belongings in the storage unit are eventually given away or sold.

Please feel free to offer your experiences and ideas. The more everyone shares, the more everyone will benefit!

 

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